Review: The Perks of Being A Wallflower

◆ The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
◆ Read july 2012
◆ Dutch Edition
❝ This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.❞
The Perks of Being a Wallflower has gotten a lot of media attention ever since it was first released, and it had been on my to-read list for a long time. When the trailer for the film came out I decided to give it a go because I wanted to have read the book before I would watch the film.

Needless to say, since everybody made such a big deal about the book, I had pretty high expectations. I can't say that I was dissapointed, but it definitely wasn't as good as I had expected either. For one, I have a strong dislike for epistolary novels because I feel they are an easy way out to have no pace. I was actually relieved because it wasn't so bad and the main character made for a good narrator. However, I felt as though - even though his state of mind wasn't exactly the best - the language was sometimes a bit too childish for a boy his age.

In my opinion, the biggest flaw of this book is the plenitude of controversial situations that were mentioned throughout the book. Whatever you can think of, Chbosky added it. Rape, abuse, sexuality etc. are all over the place, and it should have been less.

Other than that, the characters were odd in their own way yet very likeable and probably every teenager can relate to them in some sense. Once you're fully into the book, you'll find that Charlie and his friends have stolen your heart, and you éxperience everthing alongside them until the last page.

3 stars because:
✓ Relatable characters
✓ Interesting narration
✗ Too much mention of controversial situations
✗ Unfitting language


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